Perhaps 40 percent of all school children have allergies, and 14 percent have serious food allergies, many of which can be life-threatening. School districts throughout Connecticut have struggled designing protocols that protect the safety of allergic students, that do not inconvenience other students and teachers to a greater degree than necessary, and that avoid making students with allergies the target of scorn from others. The balance is a difficult one to achieve.
Feinstein Education Law Group is here to help. Our attorneys understand the difficult challenges involved with education law concerns. We have assisted families throughout Connecticut, and we are not afraid to fight for your child’s legal rights.
Students with allergies that impact a major life function, even if that major life function is not learning, are entitled to the protections that come from the creation of a 504 plan. With or without a 504 plan, all students are protected from discrimination based on their disability, both under federal and state law. Having a 504 plan, however, affords the student with specific protections. That said, 504 plans are not as conscientiously enforced as are individualized education programs (IEPs).
Over the last few years, the Connecticut Legislature has passed a variety of pieces of legislation to compel the Department of Education to publish updated guidelines, both for the management of life-threatening food allergies and for the protection of diabetic students with glycogen storage disease. Check here for the latest school guidelines.
This is an exceedingly complex area of the law involving questions about students carrying and self-administering epi-pens, bringing homemade food into school parties, separate tables in the cafeteria, PTA functions in the school building, protecting the identity of the student with an allergy, the effect of medications that reduce symptoms and numerous other issues.
When you need guidance, you can turn to the attorneys at Feinstein Education Law Group. Please call or fill out our online form to schedule your free initial consultation.